Keeping ahead of infant nutrition regulation: Cargill’s US$17.5m investment in “world-class” vegetable oil refinery

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03 Sep 2018 --- Cargill’s global edible vegetable oil business is keeping pace with the fast-paced evolution of the food and infant nutrition market with a US$17.5 million upgrade of its Izegem, Belgium, edible vegetable oil refinery. The company says that ramping up investment to the “world-class” facility will advance food safety and infant nutrition, keeping Cargill ahead of market demands and the European legislation that is driving significant change in the business.

The investment allows Cargill’s global edible vegetable oils business to increase production capacity and provide a safe and reliable supply of high-quality food and infant nutrition oil for its customers.

The new refining installation includes replacing existing equipment with modern machineries, such as a deodorizer and processing technology that will facilitate the production process and assure the supply of safe and high-quality food and infant nutrition edible oil.

EU infant nutrition regulation
Cargill’s investment closely follows the recent strict standards there were set in place for chemical compounds such as 3- and 2-monochloropropanediol (MCPD) and glycidyl esters in infant food. 

The upgraded installation facilitates the technical processes and allows Cargill to meet the required European safety and quality standards and address rising consumer food safety concerns. 

European food safety legislation often leads the way in intensifying efforts to improve food safety, especially in the area of infant nutrition regulations, says Cargill, and this was a driving factor of the investment in its edible vegetable oil business. 

“The company is well-positioned to meet future, increasingly stringent, European regulations on food safety,” says Sabine Sagaert, Managing Director for Cargill’s oils and seeds business in EMEA. “With many new ingredients entering the food and infant nutrition segment, food safety is an important starting point for every product.”

“Cargill’s ability to safeguard the quality and integrity of food and infant nutrition ingredients is key to our customers’ success.”

Cargill has been active in Izegem since 1998 investing more than US$74 million in the modernization and upgrade of its refinery and bottling activities. The recent inauguration of the upgraded refinery is a significant milestone in the site’s 20-year journey, according to the company which describes the plant as one of the most complex edible oil refineries in Europe with its refining, hydrogenation, interesterification, winterization and blending technologies. 

The plant is able to process 11 types of oils and fats into more than 300 product blends, each answering to specific customer demands for products such as cooking oils, salad dressings, infant nutrition and applications. It also houses a bottling capability, one of the largest of its kind in Europe and a center of expertise for packaging within Cargill.

FoodIngredientsFirst has reached out to Cargill for more information.

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